The Role Of External Forces On Personal Development

988 words - 4 pages

In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, Huck experiences many situations which require him to use his moral judgment. During the entire adventure, Huck is essentially in charge of the fate of Jim. Huck’s taught beliefs lead him down the wrong path in the beginning, but eventually –until Tom arrives- his newly developed morals guide him. Society believes that slaves should be treated as property, but Huck’s new beliefs tell him that Jim is a person; not property. Though Huck does not realize that his actions are more moral than those of his environment, he chooses to follow his instincts rather than to follow the rules. As shown in The Adventures of Huck Finn, as well as events ...view middle of the document...

“It was fifteen minutes before I could work myself up to go and humble myself to a nigger--but I done it…I didn’t do him no more mean tricks, and I wouldn’t done that one if I’d ‘a’ knowed it would make him feel that way” (Twain 98). Also, after Huck took $40 from the watchmen who believed his dad was sick, Huck regretted the decision saying, “I knowed very well I had done wrong” (Twain 103). The most moral moment in the story, however, was the passage on page 228, in which Huck weighs his choices and decides to free Jim. Huck says, “I was a-trembling, because I'd got to decide, forever, betwixt two things, and I know it. I studied a minute, sort of holding my breath, and then says to myself: ‘All right then, I'll go to hell’”(Twain 228).
In that moment Huck writes a letter to Miss Watson, telling her where Jim is, but when Huck thinks of his relationship with Jim, he decides to tear up the letter. The beliefs that he has developed along the river, rather than the lessons his that his environment taught him drive Huck’s decision. Huck decides that going to "hell," if it means being his own person and breaking society’s rule, is a better option than going heaven. In my opinion, this is the moment that Huck fully develops his own identity. Huck decides to help Jim escape slavery once and for all, and he realizes that his own beliefs are not the same as what he has been taught to believe.
In my own life I have experienced how environment affects personal growth many times. My mother was a foster/adoptive parent since before I was born so I dealt with troubled youths my entire life. My oldest sister, who is adopted, was raised by an abusive dad and a drug addicted, stealing mom. She lived...

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